Samsung SGH-A437 Quad-Band GoPhoneManufacturer:
]Lowest Historical Price: $30
The first time we posted this phone, we checked out the specs and thought "Wow, this costs only $30?" It seemed to have a compelling feature set: Quad-Band, Bluetooth, Built-in Camera. After discovering how easy it was to unlock it, we decided to buy the phone and review it. At a price point of $30, and with no contract to add any surprise costs, the only risk was if we ended up disliking the phone. Specs
Band: GSM/850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Network & Data: EDGE
Dimensions (HxWxD): 3.74"x1.89"x.63"
Form Factor: Clamshell w/ Internal Antenna
LCD (Internal): 65k TFT at 128x160 Pixels
LCD (External): 4 Grey Scale at 96x96 Pixels
Battery: 5 hr talk time / 250 hr standby time
Camera Resolution: up to 640x480 w/ 2x Digital Zoom and Self Timer
Video Recording: Yes
Voice Memo: Yes
Email: Yes (sort of)
Internet HTML Browser: Media Net Internet Browsing
Speakerphone: Yesmore specs hereSetup
We unlocked the A437 (an AT&T phone) using these instructions
and tested it with a T-Mobile SIM card. In order to unlock the phone you must have a SIM card from a different carrier than AT&T. After unlocking it you can use it with any SIM card, including the $10 prepaid card that is included when you buy the phone.Review
The Samsung SGH-A437 is a midrange camera phone that is both light and compact. For the average user, this phone probably has all the features you would want. It is a quad-band GSM phone, which means that after you unlock it, you can use any SIM card from any carrier. Because of this, you can also use the A437 as an international phone as long as you can obtain a SIM card at your travel destination. It also comes with bluetooth and a basic camera, both of which are standard features on phones these days.
I found the sound quality of the phone to be pretty good. I was able to use speakerphone and talk with the phone on my lap, with little or no degradation in sound quality for either party. The overall design of the phone is fairly simple. There is a small black and white external display to show you the time and a custom message, and a 65k TFT internal display. We did notice however that the hinge feels a little flimsy. The keys are flush with the phone similar to the RAZR, which makes button presses almost as annoying the RAZR's.
The A437 lacks some features that are critical for power users. The bluetooth is crippled to the point where the only intact functionality is connectivity for a bluetooth headset. There is no support for bluetooth tethering (and why would you want to at EDGE speeds anyways?). In order to customize any of your wallpapers or ringtones, you have to either purchase them through AT&T or you have to buy the USB cable (not included) and download the Samsung Sync Software. Even with the USB cable, you are fairly limited to what you can do. The phone does not support Phone Sync, so you cannot easily manage your contacts or calendar through Outlook. You can, however, edit contacts on your phone with the software. MP3 ringtones cannot be larger than 300KB, and since there is no memory card slot, you are limited to using the 3MB internal memory. This also means that you cannot use this phone as your music player.
The A437 supports Java applications, so you can download Google Maps and Gmail (the built-in Mail software only supports Yahoo Mail, Windows Live and some other random email services), and Opera Mini.
When I tested the internet functionality of the phone, I found the built-in Internet Browser to be quite inadequate. So I downloaded Opera Mini, which displayed the pages a little better. There was a persistent issue of programs ending with a fatal error. It may be an AT&T issue, it may be a Samsung issue, it may be a Java issue, it may even be a Google issue. But when I tried to run Google Maps and I shifted the map center too many times, the program errored out. This happened with all the Java programs that I used to connect to the internet.
The A437 comes with a built-in VGA camera, so you can take pictures on-the-go. In fact, you can take a picture with the phone closed, so you can take a picture with your favorite "myspace" angle. The camera won't be winning any awards for picture quality, but who buys a camera phone and expects it to take pictures like an SLR?Conclusion
The Samsung SGH-A437 has all the basic parts of a good phone. It has bluetooth, a camera, and it is an unlockable quad-band GSM phone. It is great phone if you don't demand much from your phone other than texting and chatting. However, if you are a power user, you may want to relegate this to "travel phone" duties.Image Gallery Price History